PHOENIX — December 2, 2014 — In what is expected to be the most exciting card in Phoenix in 2014, Top Rank Boxing returns to the Valley of the Sun to join forces with Iron Boy Promotions in presenting Iron Boy 18 on Saturday, December 20th at Celebrity Theatre. The card, which is headlined by Mexicali’s Andy Ruiz (23-0, 17KO) vs. Phoenix resident Sergei Liakhovich (26-6, 16KO) in a ten-round bout, is stacked from top to bottom, with appearances from both standout prospects and local fan favorites.
Andy “Destroyer” Ruiz has gained attention as an exciting, heavy-handed heavyweight. He most recently faced Kenny Lemos (12-9-2, 8KO) in Fresno, who he knocked out inside of one round. Ruiz is excited to fight in front of his Phoenix fans, and to face the veteran Liakhovich. “I’m happy to be fighting over there because I have a lot of fans in Phoenix,” said Ruiz. “It’s a great opportunity to fight in there against Sergei Liahkovich, and it should be a great fight. Hopefully it hypes up all my Mexican fans in Arizona.”
NABF Junior Super Featherweight titleholder Oscar Valdez (13-0, 12KO) will also be featured in an eight-round bout. The two-time Mexican Olympian knocked out his opponent, the experienced Alberto Garza (26-9-1, 21KO) in the seventh round in his last outing on November 15th in San Antonio. Valdez hails from Nogales, and has a strong fan base in Phoenix and Tucson. “We have a great relationship with Valdez’s promoter, Top Rank Boxing, and his manager, Frank Espinoza,” said Iron Boy Promotions President Roberto Vargas. “The fans here love Oscar. We got great feedback when he was on our card here in July. We hope to keep bringing him back and giving Phoenix boxing fans great fights as he grows into a World Champion.”
Francisco De Vaca (8-0, 4KO) has begun to come into his own under the lights of the Celebrity Theatre. An amateur sensation with over 240 amateur fights, Vaca enters the ring for his ninth professional fight in Phoenix, where he’s built a loyal and consistent fan base. Vaca recently began training camp in Los Angeles with famed trainer Roberto Alcazar, who most notably trained Oscar De La Hoya during his storied career.
Top Rank prospect and Phoenix resident Trevor McCumby (17-0, 14KO) is slated to make his third Phoenix appearance in 2014. The hard-hitting light heavyweight prospect is managed by Cameron Dunkin.
David Benavidez (7-0, 7KO), younger brother of NABF Junior Welterweight title holder Jose Benavidez, Jr. (21-0, 15KO) will make his much-anticipated United States debut at Iron Boy 18. Benavidez has been hard at work to prepare to fight in front of his hometown fans, holding camp in Big Bear, California, where his brother prepares to fight Mauricio Herrera for the WBA Interim Light Welterweight Title on December 13th. Benavidez is trained by his father, Jose Benavidez, Sr.
Joey Ruelas (8-1-1, 3KO) makes his ring return at Iron Boy 18, after having been off with an injury since his last bout, which took place at Iron Boy 14 in July. Ruelas began training camp in November with former three-time World Champion Israel Vazquez at Magnifico Boxing Gym in Los Angeles. Rounding out the card, Alexis Zazueta (3-0, 3KO) and Jose Marruffo (4-2-2, 0KO) are featured in separate bouts.
The official weigh-in will be held at Crescent Crown in Mesa, Arizona on Friday, December 19th at 2p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a toy for the US Marines’ Toys for Tots program – everyone who brings a toy will be entered to win two Iron Boy all-access passes and a glove signed by all the Iron Boy 18 fighters.